Amy Finnegan writes Young Adult novels and is a host at BookshopTalk.com. Her debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT, will be published by Bloomsbury, Fall 2014. She loves to travel the world—usually to places where her favorite books take place—and owes her unquenchable thirst for reading to Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling. You can follow Amy on Twitter @ajfinnegan, and Facebook (Amy Finnegan, Author).
Austin Aslan was inspired to write his debut novel, The Islands at the End of the World, while living on the Big Island of Hawaii. He earned a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. His research on rare Hawaiian plants located on the high slopes of Mauna Loa won him a pair of destroyed hiking boots, a tattered rain jacket, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
He lives outside Tucson, Arizona, deep in the Sonoran Desert, where he pets scorpions and hugs saguaro cacti with his high-school-sweetheart wife and their two young children. Austin is pursuing a PhD in geography at the University of Arizona and thinking up new stories while conducting ecosystem resilience research atop the Peruvian Andes. He continues to write fiction and looks forward to the publication of his "Islands at the End" sequel, "The Girl at the Center of the World" in the fall of 2015, with a third and final installment to follow thereafter.
Jaye Robin Brown
Jaye Robin Brown, or Jro to her friends, lives and writes in the mountains north of Asheville, North Carolina. She is fond of horses, dogs, the absurd and the ironic. When not writing, you can find her in the art room of the high school where she teaches.
Her debut young adult novel, NO PLACE TO FALL, comes out in December of 2014 from Harper Teen. It's about dreams, singing, friendship, love, betrayal, family, and mistakes. It's also a love song to small town girls and mountain music, both of which shape the area that Jaye now calls home.
Joshua David Bellin
Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since he was eight yeas old (though the first few were admittedly very short). He taught college for twenty years, wrote a bunch of academic books, then decided to return to writing fiction. SURVIVAL COLONY NINE is his first novel, but the sequel's already in the works! Josh is represented by the fabulous Liza Fleissig of Liza Royce Agency.
Josh loves to read (mostly YA fantasy and science fiction), watch movies (again, mostly fantasy and sci-fi), and spend time in Nature (mostly catching frogs and toads). He is the self-proclaimed world's worst singer, but plays a pretty mean air guitar.
Oh, yeah, and he likes monsters. Really scary monsters.
Joy N. Hensley
Joy N. Hensley lives in the mountains of Virginia with her Aussie husband and two boys. She's a teacher of 8th graders by day, a writer whenever she has a spare minute. RITES OF PASSAGE, her debut novel about a girl surviving military school, comes out in September 2014. She once went to a military school on a dare. She now spends every waking moment evading push-ups at all cost.
Kat Ross grew up in New York City and worked as a bike messenger, legal secretary, coat check girl and iguana-brander before settling on a career as a reporter and editor. Her Confession: She didn't write a word of fiction between the Reagan and Obama administrations, although she secretly wanted to and finally got around to it when her daughter turned four, which just goes to show that it's never too late to follow your fifth-grade dream. She is represented by Jeff Ourvan of Jennifer Lyons agency. Her debut YA dystopian sci-fi, SOME FINE DAY, comes out July 1, 2014 from Strange Chemistry books.
Kate Boorman is an independent artist and writer from the Canadian prairies. She was born in Nepal (where she was carried up the Himalayas in a basket) and she grew up in a small Albertan town (where she rode her bike to Girl Guides).
Kate’s current past-times include sitting under starry skies with her friends and traveling to far off lands with her husband and two children.
Kristen Lippert-Martin is a mom of four, a practicing geek, and a holder of many opinions. When she was growing up, she was often told, "When you get out into the real world, you're not going to be able to behave like that." This hasn't proved to be the case. Kristen earned her MFA from Columbia University -- a degree that has yielded untold riches, all of them metaphorical. She lives with her husband and merry band of misfits in Arlington, VA.
Kristine Carlson Asselin writes contemporary Young Adult & Middle Grade fantasy. She also has fourteen nonfiction books for the school library market with Capstone Press and Abdo Publishing, the newest (Dangerous Diseases) coming out in February 2014.
She is one of the co-directors of SCBWI-New England in 2014, and her debut Young Adult novel, Any Way You Slice It, is due from Bloomsbury Spark in late fall 2014. She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Lisa Maxwell grew up in Akron, Ohio. She read constantly but never thought about being a writer. At some point, she decided to give up the rather sensible idea to become a lawyer and got a not-so-sensible degree in English instead. She highly recommends it. She liked studying English so much that she got another degree…and another. (No, you don’t have to call her Dr.)
Years later, she found herself moving to Birmingham, AL with two small kids, no local friends, and no job prospects, so she started writing to keep herself sane. Once she started writing for young adults, she was hooked. She no longer lives in Alabama, and all those degrees finally paid off. She now lives with her family near Washington, DC and teaches English and writing at a local college. Her debut, SWEET UNREST, will be out from Flux in fall 2014.
S. L. Duncan writes young adult novels inspired by his travels around the world and the characters met along the way. He's interested in finding those unique connections between stories and places, people and circumstance. When he's not writing, S. L. Duncan plays guitar and soccer, loves to cook, and occasionally practices law. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife and son. Represented by John Rudolph, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
Sarah J. Schmitt is a K-8 school librarian and Youth Service Professional for Teens at a public library who, in addition to planning a variety of events, enjoys opening up the world of books to reluctant readers. She runs a teen writing program that combines Skype visits from well-known authors and screenwriters and critique group style feedback.
Prior to immersing herself in the world of the written word, Sarah earned her Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from Indiana University where she worked with first year college students as they acclimated to college life. Sarah lives outside of Indianapolis with her husband, two kidlets and a cat who might actually be a secret agent. She is an active member of SCBWI, ALA and the Indiana Library Federation and is a regular participant at the Midwest Writer’s Workshop. Her debut novel, IT'S A WONDERFUL DEATH, comes out Fall, 2014 from Strange Chemistry.
Shallee McArthur originally wanted to be a scientist, until she realized what she liked best about science was twisting it into weird and fascinating stories. She earned a degree in English and creative writing from Brigham Young University so she could do just that. When she's not writing books, she's attempting to raise her son and daughter as proper sci fi and fantasy geeks. Her other adventures have included wrangling a group of volunteers in Ghana, changing her hairstyle way too often, and marrying a fellow nerd. She lives in Utah with her husband and two children.
She is represented by Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates. Her YA sci fi novel, THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE, debuts from Sky Pony Press in Fall of 2014.
And because people always ask, her name is pronounced "shuh-LEE." But she answers to anything that sounds remotely close.